DSB 1’ blankets become fair trade children clothes
Jambo Shule has in the month of September had the opportunity of visiting and working with the school project Lyma Education Center in the slums of Nairobi. This time, a lot of DSB 1’ blankets have been donated from the non-stop trains. They are only used for about three hours and then they are discarded.
Most people would think that fundraising for Africa is a win-win situation and a walk in the park. That is far from it. If a donation of 800 blankets is made to a local area, it will clearly harm the local business that sells blankets. Some may even think, "... And so what? – As long a lot of people are happy...?" - but if we kill the business, we are also slowing down the development of Africa. In fact, it has been the policy of the Foreign Ministry for many years that you must not distort competition as an NGO.
This is why we took blankets to the slums and contacted the local tailor. We made her sew some children's wear out of the of the blankets and also suggested the school that they should start a project where clothes for children were made of out of the blankets. Sales of children’s wear should not only provide livelihood to the tailor but also money for the school that they can use to cook school meals for. Lunch meals that often are the children's only meal of the day.
It is no secret that it was a challenging task. The local population in the slum would much rather have the blankets donated. They could not understand why we just couldn’t give away the blankets and simultaneously provide money for the school meals.